There are thousands of articles out there on good habits you should cultivate and bad habits you should avoid. This article is neither of those. Instead, we’re going to look at allegedly bad habits that I believe every success-minded individual should actively cultivate.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. How many times have you heard that one? I say phooey! Procrastination is the biggest time-saver you can possibly employ.
Think about it. The world is moving faster and faster, which means things are changing faster and faster. If you finish a project a month ahead of time, I guarantee something will change in those next 30 days that will force you to go back and redo some of your work. What a waste of time!
If you wait until the very last minute, you’re assured of having the absolute most current information at your fingertips. You’ll never waste another second making changes to your work because the world around you changed.
Working for Free
Years ago, I attended a seminar presented by an extremely successful and well-known copywriter. His top tip: Never, ever work for free, because working for free diminishes the value of what you do. That just may be the worst advice I ever got.
In the ensuing years, I’ve worked for free many, many times. Sometimes it was for a charitable cause I believed in. Sometimes it was for a friend who needed the help. Sometimes it was for a good organization that just didn’t have the money to spend.
Don’t be greedy. I’ve always believed that if you focus on doing the right thing, the money will take care of itself. So far, I’ve never been proven wrong.
Making Decisions Before You Get Buy-In
There’s a time to discuss. There’s a time to debate. And as Nike is so fond of reminding us, there’s a time to just do it. When that time comes, you’d damned better just do it.
You’ve heard that saying: It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. Maybe you think that’s funny. I think it’s brilliant. Many decisions are time-sensitive. Wait too long trying to make everybody happy and the opportunity will pass. If you believe in your decision, put your money where your mouth is. As long as you’re good at what you do, it’ll pay off more often than not.
Of course, you need a thick skin, because there will be an occasional backfire.
Not Sticking to Your Goals
Don’t get me wrong. Goals are important – as long as they remain flexible. The problem is that some people become so myopically, rigidly focused on achieving a particular goal, they ignore new opportunities that present themselves.
A goal is something you create based on a snapshot of the world as it exists at that particular moment. However, as we discussed earlier, the world is always changing. New opportunities always arise. You need to be ready, willing and able to modify your goals – or scrap them entirely – as circumstances change.
As we head into the new year, don’t be in a such a hurry to swear off your bad habits. They may serve you better than you think.